After downing head coach Nick Saban and the No. 3 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa on Sep. 9, Texas football and head coach Steve Sarkisian made a big jump in this week’s major polls. Texas is up to No. 4 in the latest AP Poll, its highest ranking since the 2009 season.
Sark and the Longhorns got the win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa by a final score of 34-24. And had Texas converted on more opportunities on Alabama’s half of the field in the first half of this game, the margin of victory could be even larger for the Longhorns.
Considering how this team finished down the stretch, I won’t gripe about smaller details from this game. This was a much different feeling for Sark’s squad in the fourth quarter of this game than we’ve had the last couple of years.
Where the post-Week 2 ESPN FPI ranks Texas football after beating Alabama
Texas outscored Alabama 21-8 in the fourth quarter, including two key touchdowns in just 15 seconds late in the game.
This win over Alabama sent a statement to the rest of the college football world that Sark has the Longhorns ready to contend for the College Football Playoff this season. Texas also proved that it is ready to move to the SEC in 2024 after beating a top-three-ranked Alabama team by double digits on the road.
So, how do the analytics view the Longhorns after this big win over Alabama?
The updated ESPN Football Power Index after Week 2 of the 2023 college football season ranks Texas as the sixth-best team in the country. Oddly enough, the latest ESPN FPI still tabs Alabama as the No. 1 team in the nation, ahead of the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes and No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs (regarding rankings in the FPI this week).
The post-Week 2 FPI tabs Texas as the top team in the Big 12, two spots ahead of the No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners. Coming into Week 2, though, Oklahoma was ranked as the top team in the Big 12 and the No. 4 team in the nation.
This week’s FPI gives Texas a 44.3 percent chance of winning the Big 12 and a 45.1 percent chance of making the College Football Playoff this season. It also projects Texas’ record to roughly be 11-2.
Texas boasts a record of 2-0 (0-0 Big 12) after this massive win over Alabama on the road on Sep. 9. Next up for Sark and the Longhorns is a matchup at home at DKR in Austin on Sep. 16 against the 1-1 (0-0 Mountain West) Wyoming Cowboys.